Miki: Hello. I'm Miki, from Lush. And I play the guitar. And
Miki: And there's two more, but they're men so we don't want them here. They're Chris and Steve.
Emma: They play drums and bass respectably....Respectably
Miki: Well, I think because none of us are particularly brilliant musicians, certainly at the beginning, um, if someone wrote a song, they'd have to write all the parts. So, y'know, if I wrote a song, I'd have to write Emma's guitar part, and the bass line, and everything, because we weren't good enough to just sort-of go, "oh yes, that's in that key," and then just make something up on the spot, so everything had to be quite laboriously worked out. And we've sort-of stuck to that just because it's become habit now, I think.
Maybe it will change, but it's really difficult now because we're so sort-of used to the idea of writing a song and it's totally your song, and you write every element of it, and it becomes a bit difficult now to, I don't know, just offer up a bass line to Steve and let him write it, because you already have a fixed idea of the whole song.
I mean, maybe we will do that at some point, certainly if we have to write lots of LPs, where there's stuff where maybe it would be too time consuming, to have to write it all on your on. But at the moment, I'd say we'd still stick to that way of writing. I mean, I can't really see me and Emma sitting down in a room with guitars and having some sort of jam session or whatever and working things out...it's just so different to the way that we write songs now.
Emma: We actually used to do that.
Yeah, me and Miki have known each other since we were fourteen. And we both got into music sort-of around the same time and everything. We couldn't play, y'know, it was just...in theory, but we couldn't actually play anything or write. It was just a slow process.
Miki: We just wanted to be in a band together, really.
I met Chris and Steve at Polytechnic doing a degree. And, um,
Chris joined first. And then...I think Emma was playing bass then
and I was playing guitar and we had a different singer. And
then...we all changed what we were playing and stuff, and then Steve
joined. He could play a bit of guitar, so I just asked him if he
wanted to play bass, and he said yes. That was it really. Really
Miki: Still is.
Emma: Yeah, still is!
Miki: We've still got a lot to learn.
We did a demo, of two songs, "Etherial" and "Second Sight", and we sent them out...to about six companies, independent ones. And... we were going to go with another one first, to do a single, but Ivo [Watts-Russell, boss of 4AD] kept phoning just to see what was going on. So he was interested, but I think he'd heard from people that, y'know, we weren't very good live and whatever, so he was a bit cau- tious. But in the end he said, "Well, I'll put you into the studio, and you can record three songs. And, y'know, if I like them, then we'll see what happens." And so that's what we did. And so we went into the studio and we did "Baby Talk", "Thoughtforms" and "Scarlet". And he really liked them. So he said, "Well, why don't you go back in the studio and do three more?" So we did. And we did "Bitter", "Second Sight" and "Etherial". And that was _Scar_. So really _Scar_ was like...demos, really.
Emma: At the time we were quite pleased with the way the demos
came out. Looking back, y'know, it could be said we should have gone
in and done maybe two singles, or whatever. 'Cuz there was at
least...two singles could have been off that record. And then maybe
we should have put a lot more time in them. But I think they did
sort-of capture what we were like quite well.
Miki: Well, on _Scar_, we did, y'know, quite a lot of vocal over-dubs, and guitar over-dubs and stuff. And I suppose in a way the recording process for _Mad_Love_ was similar, except the actual sounds were different.
Emma: I think there was more attention paid to the actual quality
of sound (yeah..). On _Scar_ we didn't spend a lot of time getting a
certain guitar sound or anything, it was just either clean or
distorted, that was it really. Well, obviously Robin knows a lot
about guitar, so a lot more attention was paid to that side of
Well, basically things would get easier and easier as you go along. I mean, we now have someone to do our sound. We had a lot of really bad problems early on, because either we didn't have anyone doing our sound, or else it was someone who just didn't understand what the band wanted to sound like, so consequently there'd be, like, whatever prob- lem. We'd sound dreadful. And then...what after the European tour?
Emma: Then...yeah, then we did a show at ULU [University of London Union], in London, and then we did Glastonbury, which was, um...
Emma: But it was a good experience. And then we did a few more
shows after that, just in Manchester and Leeds. And then after that
we played with the Cure, um, at Crystal Palace, which was good.
Miki: Well, I think, first of all we kept trying to play....What's that song?
Miki: "S.O.S.", yeah, which is a more well-known other song, and we really wanted to play it out, but it was just too much effort, it just kept coming out really rubbish, so then Emma sort-of found "Hey Hey Helen", which is a bit more obscure, but a *lot* easier to play.
Emma: And it makes a statement, as well.
Miki: Yeah...women's rights, and stuff like that.
Emma: But the album version is actually a lot heavier...
Miki: A bit more rocking.
Miki: That's 'cause Robin's standing over her with a hammer. No, he's not really.
Emma: No...I think the Cocteau Twins have been a really big influence on us.
I mean, we all like a lot of different stuff. This is the thing...We're all into a lot of different types of music. And what one person would listen to, the other wouldn't touch with a barge pole. And I think this is possibly reflected in our music.
Miki: I think any comparisons between bands on 4AD....I mean, I
think all the bands are so different, that I think it is really
quite ridiculous to draw such comparisons. Well, I mean, it's just
the image of the label, I think, because [name] designs whatever
type of sleeves, every band is considered to be a bit high-brow and
arty. I mean, even a band like The Pixies, which are, to me, a
really good, but very basic, rock and roll band. And like, they're
still, even in certain interviews, there's still this accent on some
sort of arty-type angle...I don't know, which wouldn't happen if
they were on any other...if they were on Sub-Pop [my, how
appropriate] or something, it wouldn't happen. Y'know, yeah, I
suppose you get compared to the Cocteau Twins, (hmph) but that's
because Robin produced us.
Emma: Yeah, I think it was his attitude more than anything that impressed us.
Well, it was approached a lot differently, I think, that the
previous records. We took a lot longer, recording and mixing it. I
think Tim, he changed quite a bit of the song, he changed the drums,
and he added bits, and he took bits away. [it = "Sweetness and
Light", I think.]
Well, we'll...When are we going? November. We'll be coming to America. (mumble) (giggle) I don't even know how many dates it is, but just to promote _Gala_, really. And then I suppose....Are we meant to go back again?
Emma: Yeah. Possibly go back in March.
Miki: Riveting stuff!
I handed out leaflets outside Selfridges for a day. That was it.